Where should we celebrate New Year's Eve in Belgrade?
November 2, 2013 6:41 AM   Subscribe

Where should we celebrate New Year's Eve in Belgrade?

Just up the Danube they'll be twirling around to waltzes by Strauss. But how does Belgrade celebrate New Year's Eve? While most of my traveling party grew up in Belgrade, and visit regularly, none have lived there in years. We'd like to do something hip and fun and interesting and memorable, but aren't sure what or where that would be. Skadarljia was suggested, but some theorized that we would be hanging out with elderly people there. Cost isn't really an issue. But we will be using public transit.
posted by jph to Travel & Transportation around Belgrade, Serbia (1 answer total)
Well, alas, MetaFilter didn't provide any answers for this question. But we went and we had a blast and here is what we did:

We ended up going to Skadarlija, which is a touch touristy but not in the same Disney way that America does tourist districts. New Year's Eve in Belgrade is celebrated starting several days early, with explosions of varying sizes heard from all directions. Days are very short there in the winter, and because the city is so far East in the European Time Zone, the sun sets at a ridiculously early hour. By 4pm, it is dark, and the explosions have reached a fever pitch. If there were fireworks, I never saw them.

The city hosted a hotly-contested concert at the steps of the national assembly building, featuring Ceca (pronounced Tsetsa), a notorious mob wife slash turbo folk pop singer. Thousands of people signed a petition to prevent her from performing, but to no avail. Because Belgrade is well-known as a nightclub hotspot, people flocked to the city for New Year's Eve. Party boats along the Danube and Nightclubs each hosted their own all-night parties.

We opted for the more subdued option, and booked a table at Ima Dana (There is Time), a restaurant in Skadarlija. A local folk singer performed with a backup band (accordion, guitar, clarinet, etc.) while we ate a five course meal which included all the rakija, wine, beer and water we could drink. Plenty of delicious food - grilled trout, a cold appetizer course, chicken and pork for dinner, and a nice chocolate mousse for dessert. At 15 minutes before the countdown, the trubaci arrived - the ubiquitous brass bands that play wild and energetic folk music on every corner during the holidays. The trubaci we had were pretty fantastic, and it was a fun way to ring in the year.

After dinner, we decided to go over to see Ceca, but were too late. The masses were leaving the plaza and another act had taken the stage. We stayed for a few nostalgic ex-Yugoslavian rock songs, and then made our way back home.

It was lots of fun.
posted by jph at 8:21 AM on January 16, 2014

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